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Students at multiple Florida colleges test positive for the coronavirus

The University of Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa all announced new cases over the weekend.
A student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg has tested positive for the coronavirus. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

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More college students across Florida have tested positive for COVID-19, a disease brought on by the coronavirus, the schools announced over the weekend.

The latest case is at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, which delivered the news in an email to students and faculty Sunday. Four days earlier, the school sent out a notice that an employee on the USF Tampa campus had tested positive for the virus, after coming into direct contact with 13 students.

Meanwhile, the University of Florida updated its website Sunday afternoon to show 10 students and one employee had tested positive at the Gainesville school. And the University of Tampa on Saturday announced five additional cases linked to spring break travel, bringing the school’s total number of student cases to six.

Six UT students have tested positive for COVID-19. One student was traveling internationally and was tested at the...

Posted by The University of Tampa on Saturday, March 21, 2020

The student at USF, who has not been identified, hasn’t visited campus since “late February,” according to the email by university president Steve Currall. The school did not release the student’s age, gender or field of study, and did not specify whether the case is travel-related.

"The student is being monitored by the Florida Department of Health Pinellas County office and based on its assessments, there is no need for further contact-tracing at the university for this case,” Currall wrote.

The count at UF includes undergraduate, graduate and law students in various fields of study. The sole employee to test positive works in the College of Veterinary Medicine, according to the website.

UF officials will continue to update the website each day, the school said on Twitter: “Each new entry will include as much info as possible according to student, employee and patient confidentiality laws.”

Five of the UT students traveled together for spring break, along with other students from the school, according to a Facebook post by the school. The university did not specify where the students traveled but said only four returned to campus afterward. All are self-isolating and none have been hospitalized, the post said.

All three schools have said the Department of Health is monitoring the affected students. Questions posed to the department were not immediately answered.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

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